Winter Minestrone and Garlic Bruschetta recipe
During the winter, my mom and I were given this recipe by a very dear family friend, Barbara, which looked so tempting and hearty that I couldn’t resist making it. You can make this recipe in advance and reheat it when needed for dinner or lunch. Vegetarians can also make this dish by removing pancetta and using vegetable stock instead of chicken.
The recipe was followed pretty closely, with the exception that I used elbow pasta instead (since I didn’t have tubetti), and I no longer added butternut squash. Also, I was only able to use half an onion as I had added the leek and used dried thyme instead of fresh. There was quite a bit of preparation involved in chopping up all the ingredients, but after that it was quite straightforward. Before making a recipe, I have to make sure everything that needs to be chopped, diced, or searched for in the pantry is done ahead of time. My recipes have been ruined more than once because I would not pay attention when I had to prepare the next step. Thank goodness I learned my lesson now! I prepared the pasta by boiling it and chopping the veggies and pancetta before I dove into the step by step instructions.
I had to admit, the kitchen smelled divine once I started cooking the pancetta and vegetables. During the rest of the process, since it was made ahead of time, I let it cool a little, covered and put it in the refrigerator. I then heated up the soup for dinner, added the spinach, a dash of wine and pesto, and warmed my bread. Since I didn’t have spare baguette, I heated up some store-bought garlic bread rather than making my own garlic bruschetta.
There was no need to add salt in this soup as the seasonings were perfect. The food was really delicious and hearty. The leftovers will serve us for 2 more meals. I present to you my winter minestrone.
A winter minestrone salad with garlic bruschetta from Ina Garten
This dish serves five to six people.
These ingredients are the following:
- You can use good olive oil for cooking.
- Two ounces of pancetta, cut into slices half inch in diameter.
- A yellow onion, chopped
- One cup (half-inch) diced carrots (2)
- 2 stalks celery (1 cup) diced
- Peeled diced butternut squash, 1 3/4 cups
- 3/4 tblsp minced garlic (two cloves)
- A teaspoon of finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- One can (14.5 ounces) of chopped tomatoesi
- Three to four cups of chicken stock
- One bay leaf
- Black pepper freshly ground and Kosher salt
- A can of rinsed and drained cannellini beans (7.5 oz).
- Approximately 1 cup of cooked small pasta, such as tubetti.
- Leaves of fresh baby spinach, 2 big handfuls
- One-fourth cup good dry white wine
- One tablespoon store-bought pesto
- Bruschetta with garlic (recipe follows)
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated for serving.
The directions are as follows:
1) In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. The pancetta will take a few minutes to soften, and only about six to eight minutes to lightly brown.
2) Add the carrots, onions, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme to the pan and cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft. Then add the tomatoes, chicken stock, one teaspoon of salt, and one and a half teaspoons of pepper to the pot. Cook covered for 30 minutes, the vegetables being tender when the mixture is brought to a boil.
3) Remove the bay leaf. Cook through the beans and cooked pasta. The soup should be fairly thick, but if that’s too thick, add additional chicken stock.
4) To serve, reheat the soup, add the spinach, and toss with 2 big spoons (just like you would toss a salad). Cook for just a couple of minutes, until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Taste for salt and adjust as necessary.
5) Serve the soup in deep bowls, with a large bruschetta perched on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil, and serve hot.
The Garlic Bruschetta Recipe
- One baguette
- Olive oil
- one clove of garlic, cut in half lengthwise
- 425ºF is the recommended temperature for the oven.
- The baguette is sliced in inch-thick slices at a 45-degree angle. The bread slices were brushed with olive oil on both sides and baked until lightly toasted for six minutes. Remove the slices from the oven, rub the surface with garlic cloves and serve.